US4591876A - Thermal printer - Google Patents

Thermal printer Download PDF

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Publication number
US4591876A
US4591876A US06/424,410 US42441082A US4591876A US 4591876 A US4591876 A US 4591876A US 42441082 A US42441082 A US 42441082A US 4591876 A US4591876 A US 4591876A
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US
United States
Prior art keywords
thermal head
means
thermal
printer
mounted
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired - Lifetime
Application number
US06/424,410
Inventor
Mineo Nozaki
Osamu Asakura
Masasumi Nagashima
Yoshio Uchikata
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Canon Inc
Original Assignee
Canon Inc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to JP15611181A priority Critical patent/JPS5857977A/en
Priority to JP56-156111 priority
Application filed by Canon Inc filed Critical Canon Inc
Assigned to CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA 30-2, A CORP OF JAPAN reassignment CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA 30-2, A CORP OF JAPAN ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST. Assignors: ASAKURA, OSAMU, NAGASHIMA, MASASUMI, NOZAKI, MINEO, UCHIKATA, YOSHIO
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of US4591876A publication Critical patent/US4591876A/en
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical
Application status is Expired - Lifetime legal-status Critical

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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B41PRINTING; LINING MACHINES; TYPEWRITERS; STAMPS
    • B41JTYPEWRITERS; SELECTIVE PRINTING MECHANISMS, e.g. INK-JET PRINTERS, THERMAL PRINTERS, i.e. MECHANISMS PRINTING OTHERWISE THAN FROM A FORME; CORRECTION OF TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS
    • B41J2/00Typewriters or selective printing mechanisms characterised by the printing or marking process for which they are designed
    • B41J2/315Typewriters or selective printing mechanisms characterised by the printing or marking process for which they are designed characterised by selective application of heat to a heat sensitive printing or impression-transfer material
    • B41J2/32Typewriters or selective printing mechanisms characterised by the printing or marking process for which they are designed characterised by selective application of heat to a heat sensitive printing or impression-transfer material using thermal heads
    • B41J2/35Typewriters or selective printing mechanisms characterised by the printing or marking process for which they are designed characterised by selective application of heat to a heat sensitive printing or impression-transfer material using thermal heads providing current or voltage to the thermal head
    • B41J2/355Control circuits for heating-element selection
    • B41J2/36Print density control
    • B41J2/365Print density control by compensation for variation in temperature

Abstract

A thermal transfer printer includes a thermal head having plural heat generating elements, a thermal head driver connected to a character generator for controlling the thermal head by supplying drive currents to the heat generating elements of the thermal head in response to print information, and control circuit for controlling the drive currents from the thermal head driver in response to the ambient temperature. Therefore, the thermal transfer printer is capable of constantly providing an optimum transfer density regardless of the ambient temperature, thus ensuring a satisfactory print quality.

Description

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a thermal transfer printer in which a thermal transfer ink ribbon provided with a coating of heat-fusible ink is heated with a thermal head to transfer said ink to a receiving sheet thereby generating prints on said receiving sheet.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Because of strong temperature dependence of the thermal transfer ink ribbon, the conventional thermal transfer printer has been associated with a drawback that, under a condition of a constant energy supplied to the thermal head, the density transferred onto the transfer sheet varies significantly as shown by a curve T in FIG. 1 from a standard density curve D for obtaining satisfactory print quality with the change of ambient temperature. Consequently in such conventional printer the print quality is unsatisfactory due to significant change in the print density.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The object of the present invention, therefore, is to provide a thermal transfer printer capable of constantly providing an optimum transfer density regardless of the ambient temperature, thus ensuring a satisfactory print quality.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a thermal transfer printer capable of providing a constant transfer density in combination with any of plural different thermal heads.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a chart showing the transfer density in a conventional thermal transfer printer;

FIG. 2 is a block diagram of a thermal transfer printer embodying the present invention; and

FIGS. 3 and 4 are charts showing thermal transfer temperatures in the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Reference is made to FIG. 2 showing an embodiment of the present invention, wherein shown are a thermal head 1 of a height corresponding to a character of 12 points composed of a 1×24 dot array of heat generating elements; a thermal head 2 of a height corresponding to a character of 10 points composed of a 1×24 dot array of heat generating elements; switches 3, 4 to be selectively closed corresponding to the thermal head 1 or 2 mounted on the printer; thermistors 5, 6 of different resistances and temperature characteristics respectively connected to said thermal heads; a resistor 7 connected to the 10-point thermal head 2 for reducing the energy supplied to said thermal head when it is selected, in comparison with the energy supplied to the 12-point thermal head 1; thermal head drivers 8 adapted for driving the dotconstituting heat generating elements of the thermal heads and connected to a character generator 9 for generating kanji or chinese character patterns in a 24×24 dot matrix form; a control circuit 11 for controlling said character generator 9 in response to signals supplied from an input signal terminal; and a power supply terminal 12 connected to an unrepresented power source for supplying a voltage V.

The function of the above-described embodiment will be explained in the following.

In response to print information supplied through the input signal terminal 10, the control circuit 11 supplies a corresponding code signal to the character generator 9, which arranges the character pattern corresponding to the entered code signal into a 24×24 dot matrix pattern and releases the 24 dot signals corresponding to the first vertical column of said dot matrix. When the 12-point thermal head 1 is fitted, the heat generating elements thereof are activated by said signals through the drivers 8, thereby fusing the ink on the thermal transfer ink ribbon and transferring said ink in dot form onto a plain paper.

Upon termination of the output of dot signals of said first vertical column, the control circuit 11 causes the character generator 9 to release 24 dot signals of the second vertical column. At this point the 12-point thermal head 1 is mechanically displaced to a position corresponding to the second column, and the heat generating elements of said head 1 are activated by the output signals from the character generator 9 through the drivers 8 to transfer the ink in a position next to the already transferred dots of the first column, thus printing the dots of the second column. The above-described procedure is repeated from the first vertical column to the 24th column, thus fusing the ink of the thermal transfer ink ribbon in the form of desired character in dot pattern and thus printing the character by ink transfer on a plain paper. This procedure is identical also when the 10-point thermal head 2 is fitted and used. In case the heat generating elements of the 12-point thermal head 1 are activated for ink transfer from the ink ribbon without the serial thermistor 5, the transfer density varies in excess of 3 times as shown by a line A in FIG. 3 by a change in the ambient temperature from 10° C. to 35° C. On the other hand, when the thermistor 5 of a resistance-temperature characteristics as shown by a line A' in FIG. 3 is serially inserted between the 12-point thermal head 1 and the power supply terminal, the transfer density constantly remains at the optimum level as shown by a line D regardless of the ambient temperature. Also for the 10-point thermal head 2, the transfer density can be corrected from a line B to the line D by inserting the thermistor 6 of a temperature characteristic represented by a line B' between said head and the power supply terminal.

Also the transfer density can be maintained constant as shown by a line D in FIG. 4 regardless of the ambient temperature, by inserting the thermistor 5 of a temperature characteristic as shown by a line A' between the 12-point thermal head 1 and the power supply terminal 12. Also for the 10-point thermal head 2, the temperature-dependent transfer density as shown by a line B can be corrected to a constant transfer density as shown by the line D in the same manner by inserting a thermistor of a temperature characteristic as represented by a line B' between said head and the power supply terminal 12.

In the foregoing embodiment a thermistor of a positive characteristic is serially connected to the thermal head, but it is also possible to connect a thermistor of a negative characteristic parallel to the thermal head thereby decreasing the current in the thermal head with the rise in temperature.

Claims (12)

What we claim is:
1. A thermal printer comprising:
a thermal head of one of at least two types having a plurality of heater elements and respective different operating characteristics, said thermal head being removably mountable to the printer;
driver means operable in response to a print signal for driving said heater elements;
detection means for detecting the type of said thermal head mounted to the printer; and
control means for controlling the heating of a first type of said thermal head in dependence on a first ambient temperature vs. power characteristic curve when said detection means detects that said first type of thermal head is mounted to the printer and for controlling the heating of a second type of said thermal head in dependence on a second ambient temperature vs. power characteristic curve when said detection means detects that said second type of thermal head is mounted to the printer so that said first and second types of thermal head print with substantially the same print density.
2. A thermal printer according to claim 1, wherein said control means includes a plurality of temperature sensors.
3. A thermal printer according to claim 2, wherein said detection means includes switch means operable in response to the type of said thermal head mounted to the printer.
4. A thermal printer according to claim 3, wherein said control means includes means for selecting among said temperature sensors depending on the operation of said switch means.
5. A thermal printer according to claim 1, further comprising an ink ribbon having an ink layer melted by heat generated by said thermal head.
6. A thermal printer comprising:
first thermal head means of a first type having a plurality of heater elements and being removably mountable to the printer;
second thermal head means of a second type having a plurality of heater elements and being removably mountable to the printer;
driver means operable in response to a print signal for driving said first and second thermal head means;
detection means for detecting which of said first or second thermal head means is mounted to the printer;
first control means for controlling the heating of said first thermal head means in dependence on a first ambient temperature vs. power characteristic curve when said detection means detects that said first thermal head means is mounted; and
second control means for controlling the heating of said second thermal head means in dependence on a second ambient temperature vs. power characteristic curve when said detection means detects that said second thermal head means is mounted so that said second thermal head means can print with substantially the same print density as said first thermal head means.
7. A thermal printer according to claim 6, wherein said first control means includes a first temperature sensor.
8. A thermal printer according to claim 6, wherein said second control means includes a second temperature sensor.
9. A thermal printer according to claim 6, wherein said detection means includes switching means operable in response to mounting said first and second thermal head means on the printer.
10. A thermal printer according to claim 6, further comprising an ink ribbon having an ink layer melted by heat generated by said thermal head mounted to the printer.
11. A thermal printer comprising:
thermal head means for printing characters in a first character size and a second character size different from the first character size;
switch means for changing between the first and second character sizes; and
control means responsive to said switch means for controlling the heating of said thermal head means in dependence on a first ambient temperature vs. power characteristic curve for the first character size and in dependence on a second ambient temperature vs. power characteristic curve for the second character size so that substantially the same print density can be obtained with either of the first and second character size.
12. A thermal printer according to claim 11, further comprising an ink ribbon having an ink layer melted by heat generated by said thermal head means.
US06/424,410 1981-10-02 1982-09-27 Thermal printer Expired - Lifetime US4591876A (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
JP15611181A JPS5857977A (en) 1981-10-02 1981-10-02 Thermal transcription printer
JP56-156111 1981-10-02

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US4591876A true US4591876A (en) 1986-05-27

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ID=15620546

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US06/424,410 Expired - Lifetime US4591876A (en) 1981-10-02 1982-09-27 Thermal printer

Country Status (4)

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US (1) US4591876A (en)
JP (1) JPS5857977A (en)
DE (1) DE3236150A1 (en)
IT (1) IT1189370B (en)

Cited By (18)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4831387A (en) * 1987-05-19 1989-05-16 Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha Thermal transfer recording apparatus having erasing function
US4860034A (en) * 1985-04-15 1989-08-22 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Ink jet recording apparatus with ambient temperature detecting means for providing a signal to drive control means responsive to a recording-density data signal
US4875056A (en) * 1986-01-17 1989-10-17 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Thermal recording apparatus with variably controlled energization of the heating elements thereof
US5023626A (en) * 1987-08-07 1991-06-11 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Printer capable of temperature compensation of the optical density of a printed image after a complete image is printed
US5025267A (en) * 1988-09-23 1991-06-18 Datacard Corporation Thermal print head termperature control
US5037216A (en) * 1988-09-23 1991-08-06 Datacard Corporation System and method for producing data bearing cards
US5142300A (en) * 1988-11-28 1992-08-25 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Recording head for use in half-tone recording
US5172142A (en) * 1985-04-15 1992-12-15 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Ink jet recording apparatus with driving means providing a driving signal having upper and lower limits in response to an input signal
EP0252973B1 (en) * 1986-01-06 1993-03-03 Doskocil Manufacturing Company, Inc. Toy for entertaining a cat
US5327165A (en) * 1989-03-30 1994-07-05 Schlumberger Technology Corporation Electronic printing system for imaging thermally sensitive paper
EP0618077A2 (en) * 1993-03-31 1994-10-05 Mannesmann Kienzle GmbH Operation control of a thermal printer
US5383734A (en) * 1989-04-10 1995-01-24 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Image recording apparatus having a ribbon drive slip clutch
US5529408A (en) * 1986-11-26 1996-06-25 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Thermal transfer recording method including preheating thermal transfer recording medium
US5690437A (en) * 1994-12-02 1997-11-25 Seiko Epson Corporation Method and apparatus for controlling the thermal head drive
US5838356A (en) * 1995-03-07 1998-11-17 Francotyp-Postalia Ag & Co. Print head thermocontrol
US5905511A (en) * 1985-04-15 1999-05-18 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Ink jet recording apparatus for accurately recording regardless of ambient temperature
US20060098078A1 (en) * 2004-11-08 2006-05-11 Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Apparatus and method for forming image by detecting thermal print head type
US20100194810A1 (en) * 2006-03-31 2010-08-05 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Liquid discharge head and liquid discharge apparatus using liquid discharge head

Families Citing this family (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JPH0376989B2 (en) * 1984-03-02 1991-12-09 Honda Giken Kogyo Kk
JPH0368831B2 (en) * 1984-03-03 1991-10-29 Fujitsu Ltd
EP0279637B1 (en) * 1987-02-18 1994-09-21 Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. Thermal printer
EP0568162A1 (en) * 1992-04-29 1993-11-03 Francotyp-Postalia GmbH Device for an electrothermal printhead drive

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DE2928304A1 (en) * 1978-07-18 1980-01-31 Oki Electric Ind Co Ltd Thermal recording device
US4350448A (en) * 1979-05-29 1982-09-21 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Printing head mounting device
US4370666A (en) * 1979-08-10 1983-01-25 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Thermal head driving device
US4396923A (en) * 1979-05-16 1983-08-02 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Recording control apparatus
US4399749A (en) * 1981-08-08 1983-08-23 Sony Corporation Method and apparatus for controlling a thermal color printer
US4411540A (en) * 1980-08-27 1983-10-25 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Printing apparatus

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JPS5485042A (en) * 1977-12-20 1979-07-06 Toshiba Corp Heat sensitive head

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DE2928304A1 (en) * 1978-07-18 1980-01-31 Oki Electric Ind Co Ltd Thermal recording device
US4396923A (en) * 1979-05-16 1983-08-02 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Recording control apparatus
US4350448A (en) * 1979-05-29 1982-09-21 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Printing head mounting device
US4370666A (en) * 1979-08-10 1983-01-25 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Thermal head driving device
US4411540A (en) * 1980-08-27 1983-10-25 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Printing apparatus
US4399749A (en) * 1981-08-08 1983-08-23 Sony Corporation Method and apparatus for controlling a thermal color printer

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Matthews, R. F., "Print Element Pitch Selection", IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin, vol. 19, No. 6, Nov. 1976.
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Cited By (26)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5905511A (en) * 1985-04-15 1999-05-18 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Ink jet recording apparatus for accurately recording regardless of ambient temperature
US4860034A (en) * 1985-04-15 1989-08-22 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Ink jet recording apparatus with ambient temperature detecting means for providing a signal to drive control means responsive to a recording-density data signal
US5172142A (en) * 1985-04-15 1992-12-15 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Ink jet recording apparatus with driving means providing a driving signal having upper and lower limits in response to an input signal
EP0252973B1 (en) * 1986-01-06 1993-03-03 Doskocil Manufacturing Company, Inc. Toy for entertaining a cat
US4875056A (en) * 1986-01-17 1989-10-17 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Thermal recording apparatus with variably controlled energization of the heating elements thereof
US5529408A (en) * 1986-11-26 1996-06-25 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Thermal transfer recording method including preheating thermal transfer recording medium
US4831387A (en) * 1987-05-19 1989-05-16 Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha Thermal transfer recording apparatus having erasing function
US5023626A (en) * 1987-08-07 1991-06-11 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Printer capable of temperature compensation of the optical density of a printed image after a complete image is printed
US5037216A (en) * 1988-09-23 1991-08-06 Datacard Corporation System and method for producing data bearing cards
US5588763A (en) * 1988-09-23 1996-12-31 Datacard Corporation System and method for cleaning and producing data bearing cards
US5025267A (en) * 1988-09-23 1991-06-18 Datacard Corporation Thermal print head termperature control
US5401111A (en) * 1988-09-23 1995-03-28 Datacard Corporation System and method for cleaning data bearing cards
US5142300A (en) * 1988-11-28 1992-08-25 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Recording head for use in half-tone recording
US5327165A (en) * 1989-03-30 1994-07-05 Schlumberger Technology Corporation Electronic printing system for imaging thermally sensitive paper
US5383734A (en) * 1989-04-10 1995-01-24 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Image recording apparatus having a ribbon drive slip clutch
EP0618077A3 (en) * 1993-03-31 1994-12-07 Mannesmann Kienzle Gmbh Operation control of a thermal printer.
EP0618077A2 (en) * 1993-03-31 1994-10-05 Mannesmann Kienzle GmbH Operation control of a thermal printer
US5690437A (en) * 1994-12-02 1997-11-25 Seiko Epson Corporation Method and apparatus for controlling the thermal head drive
US6042284A (en) * 1994-12-02 2000-03-28 Seiko Epson Corporation Method and apparatus for controlling the thermal head drive
US5838356A (en) * 1995-03-07 1998-11-17 Francotyp-Postalia Ag & Co. Print head thermocontrol
US20060098078A1 (en) * 2004-11-08 2006-05-11 Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Apparatus and method for forming image by detecting thermal print head type
US7649542B2 (en) * 2004-11-08 2010-01-19 Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Apparatus and method for forming image by detecting thermal print head type
US20100194810A1 (en) * 2006-03-31 2010-08-05 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Liquid discharge head and liquid discharge apparatus using liquid discharge head
US7950765B2 (en) * 2006-03-31 2011-05-31 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha. Liquid discharge head and liquid discharge apparatus using liquid discharge head
US20110164085A1 (en) * 2006-03-31 2011-07-07 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Liquid discharge head and liquid discharge apparatus using liquid discharge head
US8172355B2 (en) 2006-03-31 2012-05-08 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Liquid discharge head and liquid discharge apparatus using liquid discharge head

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
DE3236150A1 (en) 1983-04-21
IT8249201D0 (en) 1982-10-04
IT1189370B (en) 1988-02-04
JPS5857977A (en) 1983-04-06

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